One of Germany's largest apparel firms, Klaus Steilmann, is to invest Rs 280 million (US$6.1 million) in setting up a manufacturing base in India.

The plant, which will have an annual capacity of 6 million trousers and shirts, is due to start in 2005. It will be used as a supply base for the south and south-east Asian markets.

Steilmann's sales director Klaus Friedrich is part of a German business delegation visiting India.

He said the company is looking to link with a local company before proceeding with the venture.